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Jai Yun conundrum

hedge_hog | | May 17, 2011 09:24 PM

So I finally went to Jai Yun for dinner after two years of yearning. It was a party of four, including both my parents. To clarify, all of us are Chinese, and more specifically, were born and grew up in Shanghai. I had some reservation about taking the parents to Jai Yun since I never quite got a good sense about the background of people who raved about Jai Yun and wonder if the "excitement" will transcends culture backgrounds. I am posting this simply to help anyone else who is in my shoes.

Simply put, the food was excellent, but nothing earth shattering. There were 11 cold appetizers, tasty but familiar to anyone who has been exposed to Jiangsu cuisine, i.e. Shanghai or food from the lower Yangtze region. Of the 11 hot dishes, the highlights, for me, were the white fish, shrimp, crispy beef and house special eggplant, maybe the pork shank. Again, top notch technique but not mind-blowing or revolutionary. If you've been to Shanghai or Nanjing, you probably had them, maybe just not quite as good.

For prix fix, I feel like if I go to some place like Quince or Danko, with each additional person, I can actually try more dishes. But at Jai Yun, it's still the same dishes more or less. I am wondering "out loud" on the hound board, "does my background, having been exposed to the cuisine, made the Jai Yun experience seems less special?" Perhaps if I am Italian, I would be less impressed by Quince or La Ciccia, and more with Jai Yun. In short, I am glad that I tried it, but probably won't be back.

Just wonder what others think.

La Ciccia
291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

Jai Yun
680 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94111

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